articles about UK Parliament

14/09/2018 ForcesWatch comment

Our response to the Public Accounts Committee have today published their report Skill Shortages in the Armed Forces, which makes a number of problematic recommendations that put the military's operational needs over other considerations.

25/07/2018 ForcesWatch press release

The Defence Select Committee recommended that the Ministry of Defence ‘conducts or commissions further research into female personnel, early Service leavers and recruits under 18 to determine the extent to which they are at higher risk of developing mental health conditions.’

24/02/2017 ForcesWatch comment

We report on the recent debate in Parliament arguing that the age of recruitment to the UK armed forces be raised.

Ask your MP to sign an Early Day Motion on The Recruitment of Minors into the UK Armed Forces. If you are in Scotland, ask your MSP to sign a similar motion on the Medact Report on British Armed Forces Recruitment.

Written evidence submitted by ForcesWatch to the Education Committee's Alternative Provision Inquiry

This submission briefly outlines 'alternative provision with a military ethos' and details a number of concerns - relative effectiveness, targeting disadvantage, lack of consultation and lack of scrutiny.

ForcesWatch, UK Parliament

Written evidence submitted by ForcesWatch to the Defence Committee's Armed Forces and Veterans Mental Health Inquiry.

We conclude that:

More independent research, in anonymised conditions, needs to be carried out in a number of areas, including:

  • The relationship between early enlistment (especially junior entry), prior vulnerabilities such as socio-economic disadvantage, and short and long-term health impacts.
  • The connection between military training and mental ill-health.
  • Developmental issues that affect adolescents in particular, for example in assessing and appreciating long-term risk and making an informed decision to enlist.
  • Moral injury and how issues of conscience impact mental health.

Steps should be taken to improve legal procedures by which claims of harassment and bullying are investigated and incidents are reported within the military.

In order to avoid mental health risks to young soldiers, junior entry recruitment of those under 18 should end. There needs to be greater understanding about pre-enlistment risk factors for psychological ill-health such as socio-economic disadvantage and childhood adversity, and a consequent shift away from recruitment marketing that targets vulnerable groups.

ForcesWatch, UK Parliament